62° Good Afternoon
62° Good Afternoon

It was a good run for CBS, but it ends Monday

The CBS-TV sports anchors team of Mike Francesa,

The CBS-TV sports anchors team of Mike Francesa, left, Jim Nantz, center, and Billy Packer join the rest of the sports-viewing nation on March 18, 1991 as they watch action during the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship tournament from their New York studios. Credit: AP

CBS will carry the NCAA men's basketball championship game for the 34th consecutive year Monday night, a streak that dates to Michael Jordan and North Carolina beating Patrick Ewing and Georgetown at the Louisiana Superdome in 1982.

But the run will end there. Come 2016, TBS will carry the entire Final Four for the first time as part of its partnership with CBS. The channels will alternate thereafter, with CBS carrying the entire Final Four in 2017.

Will the end of CBS' long run be somewhere in the back of play-by-play man Jim Nantz's mind Monday?

"I know you're probably going to say you don't believe it, but I hadn't thought about it until you asked that question,'' said Nantz, who worked his first Final Four in 1986 and has been on play-by-play since 1991. "The partnership is so strong. It is not something that's taken years for me to appreciate it or get it. It's been good from the start. To me, we are in this together, and whichever one is carrying the signal is not something I give a great deal of thought to. I think of it more as a large team that is trying to do the best presentation of the NCAA basketball championship.''

Nantz worked with Billy Packer for his first 18 Final Fours on play-by-play, then Clark Kellogg for five (the last three including Steve Kerr), then Greg Anthony and Kerr last year. He will be joined Monday night by Grant Hill and Bill Raftery, a group that for now is slated to work the event on TBS in 2016.

New York Sports